Ten Tips from Arnold Schwarzenegger

Jan 23, 2024 | Financial, Growth Tips, Income, Leadership, Peer Groups, Planning, Strategy

Periodically I write a newsletter about a great book.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s newest book, “Be Useful” is excellent.

Arnold tells of his American Dream and how he went after it with intention and gusto.

This book is fitting my 2024 theme of Accountability, because Arnold is the king of accountability.

My Top Ten Takeaways (read with an Austrian accent)

1. Pain Is Necessary.

Anything worth pursuing requires pain and sacrifice.

Arnold quotes Muhammad Ali “I only start counting sit ups once they begin to hurt, because those are the only ones that count.”


As Arnold reminds us, pain is temporary, your legacy is forever.

2. Go All The Way.

Arnold’s (and my) favorite expression in German is “Wenn Schon, Denn Schon”, meaning: If you are going to do something, go all the way.

Arnold says, “Never let good enough be good enough. It’s a slow death.”

Raise your people’s standards and belief in what’s possible!

3. Think Bigger.

It takes no more energy to dream big than it does to dream small.

Give yourself permission to think bigger, proclaims Arnold.

”You will have a larger impact on others, and on yourself ofcourse!”

Think back to your biggest decisions that changed your life. Now use that positive energy to continue to stretch yourself!

3. Invest In Yourself.

Arnold’s most financially successful movie was not an action film.

It was the comedy, “Twins”.

Everyone in Hollywood told him he was crazy, and no one wanted to finance the movie. To secure a deal, he took a back-end cut.

Arnold and his co-star Danny DeVito agreed to get paid only if the movie made money.

He made more money with that move than any other!

4. Look In The Mirror.

Most people don’t like to look at themselves in the mirror, according to Arnold.

“They don’t like what they see.”


Success starts with self-accountability, which starts with a hard look in the mirror.

Develop a fresh vision for yourself and look at it every day in the mirror.

5. Cut Your Pant Legs Off.

Arnold lost his first body building competition because his calves were too skinny and out of proportion,

So he cut the legs off all his workout pants.

He forced himself to look at his weakness every day, until his calves became his bragging rights.

You can do the same.

For example, many companies have poor load-up times.

Measure and post your load up times every day and discuss them every week with your team until they shift from weakness to strength.

6. Busyness Is Bulls**t.

Arnold notes that “we all have the same amount of time in a day, week and year.”

But “Keeping busy every day is not the same as keeping productive.”

When you wake up each morning, set your priorities. And turn away from anything that does not support your vision.

Arnold gives this example:

Too many people go to the gym without having clearly defined goals, and they end up wandering from machine to machine.

Different people have different goals, so don’t just copy the person’s routine next to you.

And don’t copy his/her goals, either.

Take the time to figure out your own, so every workout and every activity you undertake has a purpose.

7. Ignore The Naysayers.

Acquaintances and experts told him he could never be an actor – he ignored them – and did the work needed to become successful.

The experts told Arnold to change his last name – he ignored them – and was proud to see his own name up in lights.

They told him not to do comedy – he ignored them, again.

Ignoring the naysayers has been paramount to his success.

Because his dream was bigger than theirs.

8. No One Is Self-Made.

All successful people learn from the many people along the way.

“No one is self made” as Arnold reminds us.

Don’t let your ego get too large. Stay humble and keep learning every single day.

That’s how you become “self-made.”

9. Be Positive, Even In Failure.

As Arnold says, “Don’t dwell on the bad parts of your life, do something with it.”

Accept defeat and become a better person because of it.

Work should be fun, even with its ups and downs.

Enjoy the work you take on–or change the work!

10. Focus (On A Higher Goal).

Focus on the one thing in front of you and become the <u “>best at it.

An example from Arnold: “Don’t just aim to be a good police officer, aim to be police chief.”

Don’t just aim to build a good landscape company, aim to be the best at your niche.

This takes focus.

Your Challenge: Find a Vision Worth Obsessing Over.

Arnold is the perfect example of accountability and obsession.

Listen to Arnold’s book, to gain insight into both.

He reads the book himself. It’s a fun way to start 2024!

Regards, Jeffrey Scott!

P.S. Last call to surround yourself with a group of winners.

Join our new Leader’s Edge peer group that we are kicking off, March 4-6.

We have only a few spots left, act now if you want to get involved! Register here.

“We’ve been working with Jeffrey and the peer group since 2018. It has been an incredible resource for growing professionally and personally, continually improving our business, team and profitability — while meeting like-minded individuals and making friends along the way.”

Anthony Olender, Ocean View Landscaping, Long Island, NY.